What links the blockchain to the Azores? Last week finally the container with our household goods, some furniture and, last but not least some good bottles of wine arrived in Horta. In the 21st century one might think that this is a straightforward operation, well reality proved us wrong. A couple of months ago I read an article about one of the major global shipping companies starting to use the blockchain to manage the millions of containers they are moving around the globe. Knowing that our moving agent commissioned this shipping company, I felt quite relaxed – we’ll be able to follow in real time all movements. Everything seemed to go well, until when about a week prior to the expected arrival date I asked our agent for some details such as the exact arrival date and the name of the ship, so that I can inform our local port handling agent. I got a link with access to the global company’s tracking system and hélas, I could see the data for the arrival of the container in Lisbon – next to it said that the container will be delivered by truck within three hours of port clearing. Slightly anxious, I called our moving agent, surely there must be a glitch in the system as nobody will ship a container by truck within three hours from Lisbon 1600 km across the Atlantic. What then followed might by characteristic for what awaits us in the future. Me and the helpful moving agent tried to convince the global shipping company that it is physically impossible to go by truck from Lisbon to Horta. For more than a week discussion went on and forth, including sending Google Maps screenshots until the ports agent from Horta intervened, talked to the global shipping companies’ colleagues in Lisbon and finally managed to arrange the transport by ship from Lisbon to Horta. I always had the illusion that in a shipping company a huge world map is hanging on the wall with little red and yellow flags, coloured threads indicating routes, ports and ships. Artificial intelligence seems to have killed my illusion – nowadays it is not anymore necessary to have geographical knowledge to ship containers. But it seems that they forgot to link the blockchain to a map of the Azores.Meanwhile all the 179 boxes have been delivered damage free to our house and we are struggling with sorting them out, finding some particular tool which is one of the 10 kitchenware boxes. Adding further to complexity is the fact that all our moving is temporary, as at some point in the near future we will start reconstructing our house. Now the 24 boxes with books are in my office, for those who do not know, independent of their content, books are incredibly heavy. Furniture, clothes and kitchenware share their place with ripening bananas and tools are safely stored in the garage together with tons of old stuff from the house which needs to be sorted out and given away. Moving to a remote island has a very romantic touch, but besides nice pictures real life is often more complicated. Many thanks to the teams of SantaFe relocation @santaferelo in Budapest and Atrans in Horta, thanks to them we can enjoy now some really good Hungarian wines in our backyard.
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